Summary: God leads, guides, and protects us.
He Leadeth Me
"He shall feed his flock like a shepherd: he shall gather the lambs with his arm, and carry them in his bosom, and shall gently lead those that are with young."
Most of you are familiar with the old television series Candid Camera. Warren Wiersbe reminds us of an episode of Candid Camera that was conducted on the campus of a prep school. This prep school was an all male campus, and all of these young men were just way above the average person. There were no average students here. These where young men who were sharp and had everything on the ball. The day that the Candid Camera crew came in, they were going to evaluate these young men. The young men thought that they were going to be interviewed and take some tests. The Candid Camera crew were posing as career counselors, and they were going to give these interviews and tests and recommend to theses men what career field might be best for them.
So the time came for the final recommendation and everyone was all excited about it. In one instance, the young man was sitting in the office waiting for the career counselors with a great deal of anticipation, excited about his prospects. He, no doubt, was thinking that the counselor would recommend him to be the Dean of a College, or the President of a bank, or a research scientist. So there is this excitement and anticipation when the counselor comes in and sits across the table from him and says, "Son, after carefully reviewing the interview and the examination that you have taken, it is my considered opinion that you should seek a career as a . . . shepherd!"
Now, you can picture for yourself the expression on this young fellow’s face. He didn’t know whether to laugh or to cry. But I’m sure this thought came to his mind, "Who in the world would want to spend the rest of their life being a shepherd?" Why would anyone want to tend a creature that is so dumb that it can’t even find it’s own way home? But, friends, we need to recognize that is exactly what the God of all creation, the Sovereign God of all the universe, did. God became a man. God condescended to become a man and identifies Himself, not just with man, but as a Shepherd for man.
I think that one of the most beautiful pictures that we see, as I recall from my days as a child in Sunday School, is that picture of a shepherd who is standing in the field with his flock, sort of up on a knoll, and he is watching his flock. And as he looks out over the field you can see on his face a concern and a compassion for his sheep. But at the same time you can see a keenness in his eye. He is alert and watching for any danger that may come to his flock.The Bible gives us a picture of Jesus just like that; as a Shepherd who is desirous and willing to attend to His flock, and we are His sheep.
I want us to talk this morning about the work of the Shepherd. But before we talk about the work of the Shepherd, I believe it is important for us to consider the Shepherd Himself. This passage of scripture, verse number eleven, says, "He," speaking about God, "He shall feed His flock like a shepherd." So let’s think about the shepherd for just a moment.
I. THE SHEPHERD
The scripture give us the clear indication that Jesus Christ identified Himself as a Shepherd. In the New Testament, John 10, Jesus said, "I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep. But he that is an hireling, and not the shepherd, whose own the sheep are not, seeth the wolf coming, and leaveth the sheep, and fleeth: and the wolf catcheth them, and scattereth the sheep. The hireling fleeth, because he is an hireling, and careth not for the sheep. I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine," (John 10:11-14).
A. The Good Shepherd
Jesus identified Himself as the Good Shepherd, the One who was willing to give His own life to protect the sheep. Then He goes on to explain that there are other types of shepherds. Jesus said the hireling, the one who is not an owner, but a hired man who doesn’t own the sheep himself, doesn’t really care for the sheep. He says the hireling, who doesn’t own the sheep and can’t relate to the sheep, instead, when he sees danger, when he sees the wolf, he runs to protect himself. The wolf comes and catches the sheep and scatters the sheep. But Jesus says, "I am the good shepherd, and I give my life for the sheep." Jesus said "the good shepherd." The word good means someone that is noble. He shows himself to be a cut above the religious leaders of the time. He said you are letting these men stand before you like they are shepherds, like they are you leaders, but watch out when it gets tight, when it gets thick, when things don’t go like they want it, they are going to be the first ones to leave. When there is a little bit of pressure put on, they are going to be the first ones to go. When the sheep are in danger, these hirelings are going to run. But Jesus said, "I give my life for the sheep." So the Scripture shows us that Jesus is the Good Shepherd. It is good for us to know that there is One who stands before us who is noble. One who watches over us who is willing to protect us and willing to defend us from whatever may come our way. Also, in the book of Hebrews, Jesus is identified as . . .